Few artists would consider cleaning the city streets, designing custom-built nuclear shelters or fighting charges of counterfeiting money as part of their activities. But then most artists don’t share the concerns that the members of Hi-Red Center (HRC) had as one of the most radical art groups to have emerged from postwar Japan.

Aspects of the short-lived group’s work have featured in exhibitions on Japanese postwar or avant-garde art; but until now there has been no in-depth exhibition dedicated to the group — a serious oversight considering their status in avant-garde art circles and their continuing influence, half a century later.

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